Monday, November 21, 2016

Superheroes


A couple of decades back, I was still one of those people who claimed not to like country music... except...

Well, it started with Johnny Cash, added Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Bobbie Gentry, "Dead Flowers" by The Rolling Stones, "Lookin' Better Every Beer" by Stray Cats, and, well, I could go on, which is the point. At some point, the list of exceptions became too ridiculous to make any sense philosophically. Obviously the problem wasn't whether I liked country music, it's whether a large group of its practitioners were not to my taste, right?

But now I've come to the opposite spot in my brain about superheroes. I've long thought of myself as a fan of superheroes. I love so many superhero stories by Jack Kirby, Mike Grell, Alan Moore, Ed Brubaker, Gail Simone, Darwyn Cooke... Again, you can see this list quickly starts becoming ludicrously long. I could genuinely go on for a long, long time with both of these lists. I'm forcing myself to stop, because I like making lists better than writing blog posts, and I'd like to get this out.

So, I've always felt defensive when people go on rants against superheroes, even in cases where I agree with aspects of what they say. I love those stories I love. I love them so much indeed.

But here's the thing, I love punk rock. If I go to a bar with a mediocre punk band playing or when Pandora plays a mediocre group it thinks sounds like the great punk band I've told it to play songs like, I generally like it. Not as much as the best, but I generally like it fine. The same isn't true of country music. In fact, I never listen to the country music stations I've tried to make, because it's too damn much work trying to get it to learn which ones sound shitty to me.

The continuing popularity of Marvel Studios movies has gotten me to think about all of the superhero comics I've read and how I feel about the ones I don't love. They quickly drop a long way for me.

Compare that to hard-boiled crime or westerns, which I'll put up with nearly any kind of thing, and it's not necessarily that I so love superheroes as I love a large, but somewhat select, group of people who worked in that field. As with country, I couldn't really call it something I don't like, but I'm realizing it's not something I like for what it is, but for who's making it.

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